Sure enough, during the ASA’s second general session in Phoenix, Roel Campos, former SEC commissioner and current acting chair of the IVSC’s board of trustees, noted the impact of Beswick’s speech and the need for the valuation profession to show progress on a broad level—for example, by working toward a particular set of standards or a consistent plan to work with auditors. “That’s the carrot approach,” Campos said. The stick: “If valuations continue to be [perceived] as a problem,” particularly those for public companies, then “the SEC could entertain the idea of creating a national oversight body along the lines of PCAOB.” Campos doesn’t support the idea. “I’d like to see the valuation organizations come together and make it unnecessary,” he said. But again, “if we don’t do anything to improve the consistency of valuation then we could end up with an oversight board, and we might not like the consequences.”
At the same time, as one ASA attendee put it: “We have valuation standards coming out of our ears.” As a result, enforcement—what to enforce and how—is another pressing problem. “You’re right,” Campos agreed. The valuation community shouldn’t been seen as the “Wild West,” he said. “You’re not a profession unless you have an enforcement mechanism that works.” Self-policing didn’t work in the accounting world after the Enron and WorldCom scandals. “At the end of the day, we have to make folks accountable,” Campos said. The IVSC’s objective is not to displace any organization, but to build trust among valuation professionals and the public. “Our desire is … to put forward the idea of a global profession of valuators,” along the lines of what the accounting and auditing professions have achieved. “We haven’t gotten there yet,” he said, but by next year’s ASA meeting, the IVSC would ideally like to have a substantive work plan in place, developed in cooperation with organizations such as the ASA, TAF, RICS, CICBV, and, of course, their members.